How to Create a Content Plan for Instagram (in Just 1 Hour)

6 minutes
Instagram content planning

Ready to create a content plan for Instagram? Let’s get started. In this post, I’ll show you my 5 step process for planning Instagram content. The best part? This process is so fast you can even get it done in under 1 hour! The secret is to work in batches and choose the right tools that help you optimize your time.

Why create a content plan for Instagram?

Having a content plan will help you stay organized and work more effectively. Plus, it will make you more confident knowing that your posts are well researched, planned and scheduled for posting at best times. If you think planning a whole month of content is a lot of work – you can start by planning 2-3 posts each week.

a woman making a content plan using a laptop

Even without posting daily, I guarantee you will see a difference in the way your content is performing and your Instagram stats will show.

But before you start thinking about what to post, you need to have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve on Instagram. This step is called: Deciding on a Goal for your Instagram.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Do you want to grow your brand’s exposure? Then your goal is Brand Awareness. (Tip: This is also the most popular goal for brands on Instagram)
  • Do you want to collect leads from Instagram? This goal is called Leads Generation.
  • Are you trying to grow your website’s traffic? Then you can say your goal is Traffic to Website or Conversions (if you have a conversion page).

These are all examples of marketing goals you can set for your Instagram.
Now, let’s start planning some Instagram content.

How To Create an Instagram Content Plan in Just 1 Hour

5 steps I use to Plan My Instagram Content:

  • Step 1. Be clear about who you’re targeting
  • Step 2. Get a good planning tool
  • Step 3. Decide on your content topics
  • Step 4. Design your Instagram grid
  • Step 5. Create a posting schedule (and stick to it!)

Now let’s dive into each of these steps.

Step 1. Be clear about who you’re targeting

Think of who are the people that you’re trying to attract to your Instagram profile. Most commonly we tailor the content for the type of people we’re trying to attract, nurture and convert.

instagram content planning 
planning content for social media
Photo by Ivan Samkov on

Does your ideal audience resemble college students who love to relax, listen to music when studying? Then, you can share study tips, study music, home decoration, and inspirational quote to motivate them.

Remember: People aren’t buying things and services. They’re buying experiences, transformation and who they become once they buy your product. 

Step 2. Choose a good Social Media Planning tool

Let’s get real – nobody has time to draft 30 posts every day. It’s so time-consuming! Not to mention, it’s hard to even think of so many content ideas.

Yet, brands and influencers post several times a day. How do they do it? 

Answer: They use scheduling tools to plan and schedule posts way in advance.

Their secret to staying efficient while posting more content is to work in batches. 

  • Plan content in batches
  • Create graphics from templates
  • Save hashtags into groups
  • Create caption templates
  • Scheduling content that auto-posts

My current app of choice for social media planning and scheduling is Pallyy – it helps me automate my social media and I can track my insights too!

Social Media Scheduling features I love on Pallyy:

  • Feed preview
  • Draft captions
  • Upload photos 
  • Schedule posts
  • Curate images
  • Review post analytics
  • Reply comments
  • Create link in bio

Suggested read: Find out my top recommended scheduling apps for bloggers and freelancers.

Step 3. Decide on your content themes

Creating your content themes will help you stay focused on your strategy. I usually select 3-4 content themes for each social media profile I manage, This makes coming up with ideas much easier.

What to post on Instagram?

Here are some content themes you can use as a guide.

  • Behind the scenes
  • Tutorial videos
  • Educational post (Tips, How to)
  • Inspirational quote
  • Your brand story
  • The faces behind the brand
  • Product teasers
  • Client testimonials
  • Trend jacking
  • Before & after
  • Comedy & entertainment

Step 4. Design your Instagram grid pattern

You’re probably thinking “Why should I care about how my Instagram feed looks”. Instagram is still considered a more “Creative” platform compared to other social media networks. Aesthetics plays an important role in how your audience will perceive your brand. So paying a little attention to your feed will help your page stand out and inspire your followers.

The main thing that attracts people to follow a page on Instagram is aesthetics.

People like to follow brands that are cohesive in their messaging, use the same colors, filters and follow a posting pattern. If you need some inspiration or help to choose a colour scheme for your brand I highly recommend using  

How to plan your Instagram Grid

I plan my Instagram grid using Pallyy Grids. Grids is a feature that allows you to arrange your Instagram posts into different patterns, move images around and sync them into the scheduling calendar.

Pallyy Instagram Grids
Planning Instagram Feed
Visual Grid Planner

Step 5. Create a posting schedule (and stick to it!)

How to you create a posting schedule?

Start with a posting frequency you’re comfortable committing to. It can be 3 times per week or 2 times per day. 

In the last quarter (June-Sep) my average post frequency was 3 posts/week. I found that to be a sweet spot for me, so I still have something new to post on my feed without repeating myself.

It doesn’t matter how often you post, but how consistent you are. When you show up consistently for your audience you will build relationships. 

How to know the best time to post on Instagram?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal time that works for everyone. 

Finding your best time to post requires some experimenting. Try posting at different times of the day, and days of the week to find which times your audience is most active. Then you can check your insights on the Instagram app or a social media analytics tool like Iconosquare (this shows you more detailed times according to your audience).

In my case, I schedule my posts around 11:00 am – 13:00 pm as that is the time I get most interactions.

Best time to post for likes (chart extracted from Pallyy)

Suggested read: Instagram Content Planning: 3 Steps for Success

Final Thoughts – How to Create a Content Plan in just 1 hour!

Planning content doesn’t have to be time-consuming. After managing multiple social media brands’ accounts I can definitely tell you that having the right process and the tools can be very helpful. You don’t need to have a large team. I truly believe you can do it all.

Need help to grow your Instagram?

Book a 1:1 Instagram Strategy Call to get started!


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